minutes per mile blog

how many miles do you run per week?

Question for you: Do you tally your weekly running mileage? 1126150741When I first started running I didn’t even know that weekly mileage was even a thing — I didn’t have a Garmin and didn’t keep track of my miles. Overall this “ignorance is bliss” strategy (or lack thereof) worked pretty well for the first few years of my running career. I ran a handful of half marathons and even my first full marathon in 2009. I was barely ever injured and finished all of my races with decent results!

Flashback to my second half marathon in 2008 (and yes those are the same purple shorts that I’m wearing in the photo above… is 8 years an abnormally long lifespan for running shorts?):

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In 2012 I finally decided that I wanted to get faster and smarter about running so I bought my first Garmin and got a coach. And one of the things he had me to do was record my weekly mileage.IMG_0896What a grand idea! As I became more aware of how much I was running, I started to see how weekly total mileage can impact your performance. And I’m not talking so much about how more miles = better performance. In fact, for me, it was more about fewer miles that varied more in pace. For example, some days I would run 6-7 miles easy but then track days I would only run 3-4 miles at a very fast pace. And the track days were a LOT tougher than the easy days!0825150637I’ve continued to track my weekly mileage since then, especially during the months leading up to a race. I don’t monitor my mileage too closely during the “off season” (or the “off year” of 2016 :) ) but during  training times I keep a close eye on my total mileage.

Over the years I’ve found that my “sweet spot” for weekly mileage when marathon training is 30-40 miles during an average week, 50-55 miles during peak weeks, and 25-30 miles during recovery/taper weeks. And yes I’m using the phrase “sweet spot” as an excuse to bring up that time we made homemade donutshomemade_donuts_DSC0118Anyways. I’ve gone much higher than 55 miles/week in the past (maxing out at 75 miles in one week, which might have been the most exhausting week of my life) and found myself burned out and injured quickly! My body just doesn’t respond well to that type of running — but I know other runners that easily conquer 90+ mile weeks and love it.0606150751I frequently get asked about my weekly mileage and am often curious about other runners’ weekly mileage, too. Do you track your weekly mileage, and if so, what’s your “sweet spot” for total weekly mileage during a training season?

8 thoughts on “how many miles do you run per week?

  1. I usually don’t go too much higher than 30-40 at the peak parts of marathon training. Otherwise I stay comfortable at ~20-25. I just know how tired my legs get and found that tons of walking and cross training has been more effective for me to intersperse throughout a week than runs every day! It’s allowed me to really kill the running workouts I do with fresher feeling legs.

  2. When I am training for a full, I max out at 50 miles, but most weeks are around 35. For a half, I usually do somewhere between 25 and 35. I have not done much speedwork, I think I really should try it out in my next training cycle…………..maybe I will get faster! Those doughnuts look wonderful!!

  3. Yes tally, Garmin makes it easy. 17 weeks out from my marathon I’m hovering around 50 miles. I’m about 6 weeks ahead of the Hanson Marathon Method so I’m in a holding pattern until week 7/8 of the 18 week training before following it. It’s a hard time commitment, my body has been handling it fine, curious on what happens when I get into the low 60s. Having dedicated easy and hard days has helped instead of constantly going full steam. I agree the sweet spot is 30-40, it gives you a longer run and 3-4 other runs and your family doesn’t forget you exist.

    • haha, yes, the family part is important! good luck with your training and may the 60-mile weeks be good to you!

  4. I usually run around 30 miles a week, but I’m not training for anything. I feel pretty comfortable around this mileage, as it lets me do a long run and 3-4 shorter ones as well as cross training. I guess half marathon would be around 40 miles a week. I have yet to train for a full marathon, so I’ll let you know how that goes!

    • sounds like you’d be in the same range as me! for fulls, you get a “bonus” 10-15 miles per week through the long run :)

  5. 30-35 miles per week for me. I don’t do the marathon thing and never will, but I feel like it’s still a good amount to improve running economy and speed for everything from 5ks to half marathons. I usually run around this amount when I’m not training for anything, but I take out all speed and tempo runs and just run easy.

  6. I use a good ol’ excel document to track my weekly mileage :) I prefer to stay in the 45-50 mile range … I find that when I go above that, my body starts to hate me!